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Landmark City Fashions up for sale

The iconic City Fashions store has been a hallmark Broken Hill business for just shy of 100 years and now after 30 years under the same ownership it’s up for sale.

Current owners, Pat and Ray Oates, have decided it is time to let it go.

First opening its door on May 1, 1925, it has become a name synonymous with Broken Hill. Originally owned by Amy Francis, her daughters ran the business for some 55 years.

Mrs Francis was considered one of the most fashionable women in the Silver City at the time and was labelled by this very publication as one of Broken Hill’s ‘best dressed matrons.’

In 1980 the store changed ownership when Maureen Spain purchased the business and it remained in the Spain family until 1991 when current owner Pat Oates and her sister-in-law June Campbell purchased the business.

It was under the ownership of June and Pat the business outgrew its original shopfront in Argent Street and moved to 39 Oxide St. It could be said the duo revolutionised the business, and they even added a bridal shop.

Today the store offers a wide range of services and products including ladies casual wear, semi formal wear, knitwear, mens wear, repairs and alterations, haberdashery, Janome sewing machines, and more

Unfortunately, illness forced June to step away from the business leaving Pat and Ray to operate it on their own.

Pat and Rays’ daughter Jan is taking care of the sale for her parents.

“It’s time for them to slow down a bit, spend some time in the garden,” she said, adding, “mum wants it to live on.

“It is made for online. Mum has tried really hard but it’s a little hard for her to keep up with everything on that side of things.”

“You’re not going to make a million bucks out of it, but if you have a passion for the business or like the idea of being your own boss, it’s perfect.”

Jan says there are a couple of people interested in the historic business.

“They have the numbers, and they are taking them to their accountants,” she told us.

A sparkling piece of storied Broken Hills history, the store may well be taken on a digital path but it also still has a loyal in-store customer base which the Oates have developed during their 33 years of stewardship.

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